What’s up with Bristol’s bash? Pocock Rocks is Saturday

BRISTOL — Organizers of Bristol’s sixth annual Pocock Rocks festival say this Saturday’s event should be a blast.
“We’ve got great food, music on two stages, it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Kate Selby, executive director of the Bristol Downtown Community Partnership.
The event, which falls on the first day of summer, will run from 3-8 p.m. on Bristol’s Main Street, and feature more than 20 vendors. The food vendors signed up include Will’s Lemonade, Aqua Vitea Kombucha, Rainbow Ice, Lazy Farmer and Mo’s Backyard Barbeque.
Organizers will close Main Street from the intersection with the stoplight to the National Bank of Middlebury for the duration of the event so that festivalgoers can stroll along the street among the various activities and vendors. There will be a musical stage set up at either end of the street with continuous performances throughout the afternoon and into the evening.
Musical acts include Abby Jenne, BandAnna, Lynda Malzac, Patrick Fitzsimmons and Waylon Speed. The band Gang of Thieves will start the final performance of the evening beginning at 7:15 p.m. Many of the musicians have ties to the five-town area.
“We’re going to fill the street,” Selby said.
The festival will include children’s games, a silent auction and demonstrations by blacksmith Lee Beckwith. Look for a bounce house for the kids and a football toss (Nerf) for everybody. If you are of a mind, there will be face painting.
Also on hand will be Vermont Victory Greenhouses, Vermont Skydiving Adventures, soap manufacturer Dorset Daughters, henna body artists Maple Mehndi, face painters from Vermont Face and Beauty, jewelers Wear It Well, and a new business called Yarn and Yoga, a yarn retailer and yoga studio.
For the age 21-and-over crowd, four vendors will sell alcohol — Shoreham-based WhistlePig, the Burlington Beer Co., Fiddlehead Brewing Co. of Shelburne, and Champlain Orchards of Shoreham, which will be selling its hard cider.
Nonprofits including Watershed Center, Mountain Health Center and Five Town Drug and Safety Alliance will also be on hand.
Early this week Selby said she is still looking for a few more volunteers to help staff booths when vendors need a break, though she had a good crew signed up to set up and tear down the event.
“Our biggest need is volunteers, to make sure it’s a successful day,” she said. “We just need a few more, and mostly during the day.”
She held out Pocock merchandise to tempt those last few volunteers needed.
“It’s never too late to get your own vintage Pocock T-shirt,” Selby said.
Organizers estimate that the festival has drawn upwards of 1,200 people in years past and they hope to at least meet that number this time.
“Hopefully we’ll beat that,” Selby said.
For the festival, Main Street will be closed between North Street and Mountain Street, but motorists will be guided on detours through town to destinations to the east and west. Additional parking will be available around downtown Bristol.
“We don’t actually block off Bristol, we create a detour,” Selby said.
Selby said she hopes the spell of beautiful weather holds through Saturday, but she offers no guarantees on the weather front.
“Up ’til now, it looks really good,” she said. “Up ’til now.”
Pocock Rocks derives its name from the original name of Bristol, incorporated in 1762 and named after British Admiral George Pocock. In 2009, the festival won the Green Mountain Award for the Best New Event in Vermont.
Pocock Rocks is sponsored by several local businesses, including the Addison Independent. Other sponsors include the Heritage Auto Group, 99.9 The Buzz, the Bobcat Café and Stark Mountain.
See more online at discoverbristolvt.com/pocock-rocks.
BRISTOL — Drivers traveling through downtown Bristol on Saturday afternoon and evening during the annual Pocock Rocks music festival and street fair will see a small change in traffic patterns.
The Main Street block in Bristol will be closed to all traffic from 12:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 21, from the traffic light at North Street to the National Bank of Middlebury.
Through traffic will be detoured onto a loop along North and Mountain streets. Organizers assured the public that local traffic will be able to reach destinations throughout downtown, and all downtown businesses will be open as usual.
Parking for the event will be available around the green, at the Merchants Bank, at the Bristol Post Office, and at Brown-McClay funeral home on South Street, as well as at the schools (although there will be no shuttle service).
For more information or questions, call 802-453-7378.

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